Proverbial Wisdom

Solomon was the son of David, and he was a wise man. When he ascended to the throne of Israel, God told him “Ask of me, whatever you would like.” Solomon requested “Lord, grant to me the wisdom, that I might rule over these your people.” The Lord was pleased with Solomon’s request, and responded “Because you did not ask for money or fame, but for wisdom, I will not only give you wisdom, but I will also give you money, riches, and fame.” Solomon was pronounced the wisest king that lived, both to that date and forward.
We are told in Kings that Solomon wrote 3000 proverbs, of which only around 1000 are contained in the Bible. The book of Proverbs begins with a short explanation, which should be a guide to each of us.

The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel:
• To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding.
• To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity.
• To give prudence to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.
• A wise man will hear and increase learning, and a man of understanding will attain wise counsel.
• To understand a proverb and an enigma, the words of the wise and their riddles.
• The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

A proverb will help you to be wise, to give you wisdom. It helps you to receive instruction. Proverbs contain deep and necessary understanding to life. The purpose of Proverbs is to provide us with wisdom, justice, judgment, and equity. In other words, it is used for instruction, to put the truth in a manner by which it can be remembered. It puts things in a clever way, so the wisdom sticks to you.

A young man can receive knowledge and discretion, while a wise man will heed it and use the wisdom to counsel others. Proverbs minister to the simple, to the young, to the wise, and to the men of understanding. The Proverbs of Solomon are written in a manner in which you don’t normally get the true meaning, the first time it is read. However, when you do get the wisdom, the truth is very clear. The truth of Proverbs is hidden, until it is drawn out through meditation.

The first 6 verses of Proverbs introduce the Proverbs, give the purpose of them, and explain what they can do for those who choose to seek and obtain the wisdom. Verse 7 give the foundation of the whole book. The Proverbs are meant to bring us into a reverential fear of the Lord. Verse 7 actually says that the fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING OF KNOWLEDGE.

I find it interesting that we, as a nation, choose to no longer seek the wisdom contained in the Bible. Most of us claim to believe in a Creator, but somehow do not seek the wisdom provided by that Creator through the wisdom of King Solomon.

Today, many folks make knowledge their god. Their education and what schools they have attended is a huge part of their life, their identity. They are constantly reading, constantly studying, constantly seeking to learn more and more. As they gain knowledge and understanding, they develop a snobbish sort of sophistication about it. With this as the main part of their identity, they still choose to avoid the knowledge contained in the Wisdom of Solomon, given him by God, personally.

Many of our educated, when asked about God, somehow take pride in announcing that they are ‘agnostic’. They believe that answer to be extremely wise and sophisticated. Many even try to exclaim it with a nasal sound, indicating an Ivy League connection. It is interesting that the word ‘agnostic’ is a Greek word. The Latin word for agnostic is ‘ignoramus’. So, the Harvard exclamation of pompous pride could be translated “I’m an ignoramus.” I find it a bit humorous that a person, who makes his intellect his god, somehow ends up with a confession of ignorance, when it comes to ultimate knowledge.

In Proverbs, we are immediately told the “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” The “beginning” of knowledge is the fear of the Lord. Without that, true knowledge is simply not attainable. I have a lot of friends, who just don’t get me. They don’t understand my commitment to my faith, my constant references to the Word, my consistent insistence that we are living in the last days of earth, as we know it. I have many old friends who avoid me, because of this.

In the book of Proverbs, there are over 70 verses that refer to fools or foolish acts. The problem is that a fool doesn’t know he is a fool. It is difficult for a fool to receive wisdom and instruction, even from the wisest man who ever lived, simply because they don’t know that they are fools. Without the fear of the Lord, a fool despises wisdom and instruction. The fool believes that he already knows it all.

This brings me, finally, to my point. With the move to all but eliminate God from our schools, courts, and even from our lives, the ‘fear of the Lord’ is no longer present in our country or, for the most part, our family lives. When I was a boy, God was a no-brainer. We went to church, prayed in school, and most folks could get along, even in disagreement. My mother was a democrat (days of Kennedy), and my father was a republican. I have always been registered as ‘unaffiliated’, because I was taught to vote my morals, not my party. With God in our home, this was not difficult to manage. It seems to me, that we have slowly eliminated teaching morals to our children and have replaced morals with opinions, most of which are based on our political affiliation. The problem with this is that the fear of the Lord has been replaced by political correctness, meaning we are blocking from our children the ‘beginning of knowledge’.

Sadly, most homes today teach their children to follow the beliefs of their political party, choosing to ignore the basic morals contained in the Bible. The first problem is that, just because something is believed to be politically correct or along party lines, does not mean that it is morally right. Secondly, when the person has no ‘fear of the Lord’ they do not realize they are foolish in their support of immorality because of political correctness.

One of my favorite scriptures, and one that sums up what I am trying to say, is Proverbs 26:11. If you are ‘agnostic’ and are content in your own ignorance, you may not understand. However, if you can try to remember that these are words that God, Himself, gave you to increase your knowledge, and for those Christians who still acknowledge the truth of the Word of God, you just need to let the truth of it find you.

Proverbs 26:11 — As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool returns to his folly.

It’s a sickening thing to think about, but a dog, when it gets sick, will usually eat grass and then regurgitate whatever might be causing their sickness. After a while, you will see the same dog licking and eating their own regurgitation. THINK ABOUT IT!!!!!

Just my thoughts!
Don D. Stephens

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